Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Digital Paper Piecing

Paper piecing is a great way to add pattern and color detail to your images. Check out all the image lines and polka dots on the dress in the project above - I don't know about you, but I could never do that freehand. This project features a digital image from Eureka Stamps . Off the top, I have to apologize for the slant on the photo - new camera that I'm still getting used to.

This will be my last project for the Eureka/QKR Techniques and Tutorial Team. It's been a year since Maribeth accepted my application to join the team - my first design team ever! - and it's been a great experience. I have learned so much in that time. Special thanks are sent to Maribeth for her amazing support of the design team. My appreciation also goes out to Jackie, DT Leader, for her encouragement and support. Thanks also to Tina (DT Admin go-to-expert) for all her efforts, Ruza (fellow team member and a woman who has it ALL together) for all the technical expertise as I learned the ropes of being a DT member. Special thanks also to Joann Burton aka Sassy Raggedy (my original T&T Team partner) for her amazing inspiration and friendship. Ladies of the QKR and Eureka DT Teams - you rock!

And on to how to actually paper piece with digital images. First, print your image on the card you prefer for coloring, in a size that suits your project. My go-to paper for Copic coloring is X-Press It Blending card.

From there, you have two options.

The first option is to print your image again, in the same size, on a blank piece of inexpensive card. Then tape a piece of patterned paper over the printed image ensuring that the paper, but no tape, covers the part of the image you want in the pattern (i.e. her dress). Run the whole package through the printer again.

The second option is to cut a piece of patterned paper in a size that will fit your printer, and print the image again.

Whichever of the two options you chose, now comes the tricky part - carefully cutting the part you want from the image. I try to cut right on the line, so I can line my piece up with the printed image. But it might be smarter to cut just outside the line and thus cover up the line on the image.

Now color the base image with Copics or whatever medium you prefer. At this point, I cut out my base image because I wanted her to pop off the page with pop dots. However, you could shape the image with any die cut frame.

Now spread glue on the back of your patterned pieces and adhere them to the image.

Get as creative as you wish. Perhaps you could print the image on a second patterned paper and have her sash in a different color? I used a bit of grey to shade the folds of the dress, and some blue where the underside of the fabric shows, and colored her petticoat layers in different shades.

Here's a shot of The Boss re-charging her batteries after a long afternoon of supervising in the craft room.

Come back and visit me here on my blog often. I'll still be using my QKR and Eureka images, as well as all the others in my stash, to create as the spirit moves me and I hope you'll join me. For the last time, here's my T& T badge....

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Blended Butterflies

For this month's Eureka and QKR Techniques and Tutorials post, I thought we'd take a look at blending between color families when using Copic markers. The above photos shows the butterflies in progress, however all the color blending has been completed. The digi stamp used here is Eureka's digi58901 Lacey Butterfly. I've printed it on a piece of X-Press It Blending card at 3.5, 2.5 and 2 inches high, rotating each one.

First of all, I want to be clear that I have not received official Copic certification. I am simply someone who loves Copics, so I read all I can about using the markers to their best advantage and then I practice, practice, practice. What I will share with you, below, is how I work with the markers.

If you use Copics, you are undoubtedly familiar with the concept of blending two colors to create shadows and shading. And you likely use two markers with the same color family designation, the same first number and the second number is usually two or three digits away from the first, such as R24 and R27 to color Santa's suit. What would it look like if you used two markers with different color families, but the same first and second numbers?

Color blending between two color families is easiest if you use two groups that are beside each other on the Copic color chart, such as RV and R. Blending is also easiest if you choose light colors. Let's take a look at how to make this technique work.

First of all, practice your flicking technique. Quickly - no dawdling - touch your pen to the paper at the edge of the image you want to color, and  move it out and up. The result should be strokes that lighten and narrow as they approach the middle of the image. When you add you second color starting in the opposite direction, the two colors will blend where they are lightest. Below is a look at some strokes. The one on the left it not going to give you a good result. The group on the right will give you better results.

Create a practice sheet on some scrap blending card to give you some idea of how the colors you have in mind will blend. Pick your favorites.

Here's a look at the very beginning of the butterfly coloring. You can see the first strokes lightening toward the middle of the section. You can see I've colored heavier the first third of my area, and lighter in the middle third. I'll do that will my second color, from the opposite direction.

Now add the second color.

Looks pretty good, but I want to add a second layer to deepen the color and blend the middle section further.

OK, move on and color the remainder of the sections you want to blend. Hint: not every section of the image has to be blended.

These images were completed with smooth coloring (no blending) around the perimeter.

And here's the completed card, dressed up with a sentiment and sponged with Distress Ink on the edges.

I hope you give color blending between color families a try because you can get some very pretty results.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Dance your Dreams

Here's a really fun project. Nothing speaks to me like great shoes - well, unless it's great papers!

Seriously, I've been in love with shoes since I was a little girl tottering around on toy plastic high heels. Here's a snap I found on Pinterest. I wonder how many of us turned our ankles in those early years - lol. Who else remembers how absolutely glamorous a girl felt in these?

The main image on this card is Stampin Up's Fabulous You. I stamped it in VersaFine on a scrap of white cardstock. Then I scanned it with my printer and saved the image to my computer. From there, I was able to enlarge it so it made a statement image (bonus: much easier to color the larger size with Copics).

The card front was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder. The sentiment is from My Favorite Things. It was stamped in VersaFine and heat embossed in clear. The background for the sentiment was cut with a Spellbinders die.

This card was created as part of my commitment to the Kards for Kids program in support of the patients at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. Older kids there need cards, too. Check out Kards for Kids here if you'd like to get involved.

It's a gorgeous Victoria Day here in my corner of the world. Hope the sun is shining where you are.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Watercolor Stamping

There are so many possibilities when it comes to making the most of our rubber stamps that it just boggles the mind. I recently came across the watercolor stamping technique, and thought it would make a good topic for this week's Eureka and QKR Technique and Tutorial post. This project features QKR's Rose stamp. Besides a stamp, all you need is:
  • Watercolor paper - I prefer a smooth finish to watercolor paper that I intend to stamp on. Some papers have a noticeable grain, and it makes it more difficult to get a good imprint
  • Distress Ink in Frayed Burlap and, if you have them, Re-inkers in Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed, Bundled Sage and Faded Jeans. If you don't have the re-inkers, just use your stamp pads.
  • Water brush or fine paint brush
  • Small Palette or a stamping acrylic block

Here's how it comes together:

Stamp your image with Distress Ink's Frayed Burlap.

Immediately after stamping, begin going over your lines with a damp brush. You can see (above) where I started going over the lines in the top, left corner. Squeeze your waterbrush to get the water flowing, or dip your paint brush in some water. Blot on paper towel because you don't want too much water on your image. Then allow your image to dry, or speed it along with a heat gun.

Put very small drops of re-inker in your pallet compartments. Dip just the very tip of your brush in re-inker.

Begin adding color to your image by going over an area with your lightest color, and then adding a bit of the darker color where it would be appropriate to have deeper color or shade. If you get too much color or too much water in an area, just blot it with a tissue. Don't worry if you go over the lines - that just adds to the watercolor look.

Float a little bit of Faded Jeans around the flower. Be very careful here - Faded Jeans is a pretty strong color - you might want to blot your brush on paper towel before applying to the watercolor paper. Encourage the ink to move to the outsides of the paper, away from the image, with your wet brush. You can see the completed look at the top of this post.

Here's a card I made with my rose. I'm not really happy with the completed project. I love the card design, and I love the rose, but somehow the two don't seem to belong together. Does anyone have any advice for what I might do next time? Maybe use a beige/brown or green tone rather than the blue around the flower?

And that's it for this time. Do give this a try - I think you'll love it too!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Mixed Media Fun and Games

The term "Mixed Media" seems to be everywhere these days. It looks and sounds complicated, but it's really just an invitation to have some fun. I thought mixed media would be a good topic for todays Eureka and QKR Technique and Tutorial post. Mixed media simply refers to a project in which two or more different art mediums are used together. To you, that means pulling out all the various materials in your stash and letting your imagination run wild.

The project above is a 12 inch square canvas with 2 inch sides. The main image is a digital Eureka's Gladiola and Hummer. I also used rubber background stamps Filigree and Abstract Flower. Here's a list of products I used on this project:

Digi Stamp
Rubber Stamps
Mod Podge
3 coordinated Printed Papers (in black and white, but any paper would do)
Folk Art Acrylic Paints
Stampin Up Watercolor Crayons
Distress Inks
Copic Stamping Illustration Paper
Smooch Spray

And here's how it came together:

Tear pieces of printed papers and adhere them with Mod Podge. Just paint a bit of MP on enough of your canvas to match the size of your paper piece, and then paint over that paper with another coat of MP. 

Repeat until as much of your canvas as you desire is covered.

Allow to dry. Then apply a thin coat of acrylic paint. Mix up the colors as you desire. I started pulling the blob of paint with a scrap of thick card stock, but soon had my fingers right in there.

Note: Between these lines is what I did next, but I was not happy with it. You may want to skip these steps or think farther ahead than I did.

I then taped a piece of tissue paper to a piece of cardstock and printed my main image.

Then I colored with Copics and carefully - really carefully - adhered the tissue to the canvas with MP. A light hand with the top coat is essential - pat on the MP with the brush rather than the usual painting motion to avoid tearing the wet tissue.

I completed the canvas, then I stood back and had a look. Hmmm....too dark and too small. Back to the drawing board.


Next, I printed the image again - larger and in grey tones - on Copic paper. I colored the flowers in lighter colors, cut out the flowers by hand (leaving the bird on the table) and adhered the paper with Mod Podge over the first image. You can still see some of the leaves of the first one.

Better, but now it's too bright. So I applied a thin layer of beige arylic paint and sponged brown Distress Ink over the edges.

Now it was a bit too dark, so I simply wet an old washcloth and sponged off a bit of the distressing. Much better. Was this process stressful? No, it was fun - like a science experiment. I knew I could cover the whole thing with acrylic paint and start over if needed.

Scribbles of Stampin Up Watercolor Crayon were added to the upper corners and blended out with a wet paint brush and my good old stained fingers. You can see here the left is blended and the right is the crayon.

Then I inked up the background stamps with bown and gold Distress Ink and randomly stamped, using partial impressions around the edge. (Sorry, forgot to take photos of these next steps - too excited)

Next, I mixed a little of the metallic acrylic paint with a bit of water and added some to the very top of my canvas. Then I stood the canvas up and thumped it a couple of times on my craft table to get the wet paint  to run.

Then I mixed a little Peeled Paint Distress Ink re-inker with water, dipped a paint brush in it, and splattered my canvas.

Finally, I sprayed the whole thing randomly with Smooch for a little sparkle. Another time I would leave this step out as it creates quite a glare on the canvas.

And that's it for this week's Eureka and QKR T&T tutorial.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Caffeinated Friends

Playing around in my craft room again, just for fun, and came up with this project. This card features my favorite girls from Art Impressions, this time in the  Girlfriends Blend Set.

I'm really big on the Big Shot Edgelits 125595 die - all of a sudden. I've had the die and matching embossing folder for quite and while and never made much use of it, but it sure makes a nice edge on the front of a card.

The base of this card was cut at 5 1/2 inches from Petallics metallic cardstock. The patterned paper is from DCWV. The brown is American Crafts.

The image is on X-Press It Blending Card, stamped in brown Memento Ink. Copics galore were used on the image.

The flower die is from Spellbinders for Heartfelt Creations, from the Aster collection, if memory serves. The leaves behind are Spellbinder.

Dots of brown Liquid Pearls finish it up.

I'm going to enter this card in the Art Impressions Blog Layer It Up Challenge

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Wedding Wishes

I haven't been a very productive little blogger lately. Life's been lobbing lemons at me since late last summer, but I think I'm done trying to make lemonade and hopefully I'm back in the creating groove.

Here's a card I designed for a good friend to celebrate a special wedding. Since I wasn't trying to work with products from one particular company, or guidelines for a particular challenge, I was "free to be me". Here's the list of products I used for this card:

Bella cardstock in cream
Big Shot Edgelits 125595 and matching embossing folder
Stampin Up stamp, VersaMark and clear heat embossing powder
Impression Obsession Flourish stamp
My Favorite Things rolled flower dies
Memory Box La Rue heart die
Big Shot Textured Impressions Stripes embossing folder
Cheery Lynn Fanciful Flourish die
Faux Pearls

And here's how this card came together....
  1. Cut 5 3/4 inch square card;
  2. Cut one side with the edgelit die and emboss;
  3. Stamp and emboss sentiment;
  4. Stamp and emboss flourish (my flourish ran across score line and so onto the back of the card - I liked the look);
  5. Cut rolled flowers, spritz with water to soften this heavy paper, roll, glue and set aside to dry;
  6. Cut heart die;
  7. Trace around outside of heart die and hand cut. Run resulting heart through striped embossing folder;
  8. Cut two flourishes;
  9. Add pearls and Stickles to flower and allow to dry;
  10. Add Stickles to hearts as desired and allow to dry;
  11. Test run layout of items on card and snip apart elements of the die cut flourishes to suit;
  12. Adhere all layers and you're done! 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

UPDATE - MEGA Blog Candy - Daily Window Bags


As promised, a winner was drawn today for the blog candy shown below. The luck winner is Sue, aka: Mrs. Noofy. Congratulations, Sue!!! Please send me your mailing address and I'll get the CRAFTY BOOK & BIBLE TOTE AND EMBELLISHMENT KIT shown below right out to you! 

Your art slips in right where the white card is, under a plastic sleeve


Back on December 13, I blogged about being chosen as a winner in an art competition held by Daily Window Bags. My prize was a bag that they call the Very Necessary Mini. I've been using this bag for a couple of months now, and I'm quite pleased with it. The tote is not huge which, as a petite woman, I really appreciate. The adjustable straps are just long enough that I can put them on my shoulder and the tote tucks in under my upper arm. Here are a couple of snaps of the bag in my home.

With my Art

Oodles of room for my Kindle

The one improvement I would recommend to Daily Window Bags is to add some kind of closure. I kept worrying that my stuff would fall out of the bag, so I added a toggle closure for a little bit more security. I'd actually like to see a zipper across the top.

But now for the best part! The great people at Daily Window Bag have offered blog candy for my followers!! And it's really great blog candy!!!

Daily Window Bag is offering my followers a product they call the CRAFTY BOOK & BIBLE TOTE AND EMBELLISHMENT KIT. You can see their photos of this tote here. I don't have an I-Pad, but I think one would fit in here easily. This particular tote zips all around the edge so all of your possessions will be contained. It has a hand-sized handle, but no shoulder strap. Here are a few shots I took of this bag in my home.

Your art slips in right where the white card is, under a plastic sleeve

If you are a follower of my blog, and you'd like a chance to own this great tote, just leave a comment on this post. I'll be making a selection from those who enter up to and including April 13th, 2013. When I roll out of bed on April 14, the winner will be chosen.

If you are considering signing up as a follower just to enter for this candy, please don't do it unless you intend to stick around for a while.

Just image walking around with a tote which showcases your very own work of art. People do comment on how unique it is.

Good luck to anyone who enters this draw!